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It’s easier than you think. Enjoy macrobiotic food at Rakurobi Kitchen in Makabi, Naha City
post : 2017.10.10 07:00
Macrobiotic (macro = large or long, bio = life, tic = technique) is a coined term, which carries a meaning something like “the way of living long.” There are strict criteria that must be followed for a macrobiotic diet. Meals should be 40 to 60 percent grains, such as brown rice, barley, wheat or mixed grains, 20 to 30 percent vegetables, 10 percent beans and seaweed on a daily basis; nuts, fruits and white meat fish several times a week; finally, meat, eggs and dairy products a few times a week. These ingredients should not be genetically modified and meat should be organic and free of antibiotics. These rules must be strictly followed.
“I wanted people to enjoy macrobiotic food and not avoid it because of the stringent rules,” said owner Masaki Komai. “That’s why the shop's name contains the word, ‘raku’ - meaning ‘easy’ or ‘fun’ - in its name.” The restaurant opened in Makabi, Naha City in October, 2015. Macrobiotic food is great for your health, especially if you feel stressed, and it can be easily prepared and enjoyed at home. In fact, you might notice that Rakuobi doesn’t use any really unusual ingredients and their cooking methods are very straightforward. Cooking I can handle, but I have no idea about macrobiotics!
Mr. Komai is an intermediate level food master and fasting advisor, certified by the International Wago Medical Academy. He was a gymnastics instructor before opening his restaurant. At that time, he was shocked to see that so many kids suffered from atopic dermatitis. “The foundation of a healthy body is based on what you eat,” said Komai. “The body doesn’t lie. Children’s diets are what their parents feed them,” he continued. “And, this in turn depends on how much knowledge parents have. I hope to give good advice based on my my studies.”
The Kangetsu Plate, their best seller, comes with side dishes of salad, “layered” soup and brown rice. The vegetables are farmed without agricultural chemicals or fertilizer. Even fertilizer is organic. Produce comes mainly from Moringa Farm, Haebaru Town, where they stick with natural farming. They grow their vegetables in fresh water only until the young plants sprout. According to them, plants growing under their own power are stronger and more nutritious and safer to eat. “The same theory applies to humans, right? Spoiled people don’t grow as strong as they could,” Komai said. “Strength comes from adversity.“
For the layered soup, vegetables are used according to the rules of macrobiotics, which brings the most out of the flavor. In fact, this particular method of cooking is not new. People have always used it to promote health. The layered soup is supposed to be good to treat stomach ailments.
For the yuurinchii (a Chinese chicken dish), they use soybeans as a meat substitute. It was so good, I couldn’t tell that it was made of soybeans. The side dishes were coleslaw with black beans, daikon radish and carrot salad with beans and sesame dressing. The brown rice came from Shiga Prefecture and is grown using “duck farming.” Ducks eat the pests in the rice field so the farm doesn’t rely on chemical pesticides. The brown rice is very popular as it body-friendly and great for the environment.
For dessert, “chocolate” cake (with no chocolate or dairy) was served. It was made with okara (tofu dregs), konnyaku potato starch and rice flour. The sauce is made from rice flour, cocoa powder, tensai plant sugar and soy milk. It was not so sweet, smooth and rich. It was as good as real chocolate cake.
According to Mr. Komai, your taste buds become more sensitive when you are aware of what you eat. “I would like people to know how easy, beautiful and tasty macrobiotic meals are.” Komai said. According to him, most of his customers are not strict macrobiotic followers. Many eat meat, fish and even fast food. “You don’t need to be a strict follower or a fanatic to eat macrobiotic. When you’re in the mood, please come in.” Komai said.
Pilates class is held at terrace on the rooftop area. Ryukyu dance, hula, Christmas parties and flea markets have been held here in the past. More events may be coming. You may enjoy a macrobiotic meal after a Pilates workout.
Every Friday, bread from Coo in Nakijin Village is available for purchase. Bread made with natural yeasts tends to have a negative image, such as sourness or hard textures in breads made from it. All negativity will disappear once people try this bread. I suggest a Friday visit.
Address: 1-29-16-2F Makabi, Naha City, Okinawa
Hours: Morning 7:00-10:00 (last order), lunch 11:00-14:30, café ~17:00 (last order 16:00)
Okinawa CLIP photo writer: Sachiko